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Chapter 2, Section 5

God will never force His way into a human life.

So here is the prescription and a simple one at that. To receive the "Holy Ghost," the charismatics say, just empty your mind and think of Jesus; focus your thoughts on Christ. Yes, but even the devil does this. Thus, that in itself is no guarantee of a direct contact with Christ. But next, while in a mental void, bypassing the intellect, begin to utter sounds, perhaps "strange and unnatural to your ear"; but be confident, for they say, "this is the beginning of your speaking the language of heaven." Another prayer instruction urges its participants to repeat the same words over and over and over again until after approximately ten or more minutes the supplicant starts to stumble over his words. "Talk faster than you normally would," they exhort, "this will help you to reach the stage where the Holy Spirit takes over." In relation to these activities, Raymond Frame, a former missionary, justly warns: "Evil spirits can easily find opportunity to operate in the believer’s emotional life—especially when the believer is persuaded to suspend all intellectual activity and to yield his will over to an invisible intelligence (whom the Christian, of course, is persuaded to regard as being the Holy Spirit Himself). For this reason the child of God who becomes preoccupied with that least of all gifts, tongues, places himself in a particularly vulnerable position in relation to the danger of demon depression, obsession, or actual possession."—Raymond Frame, "Something Unusual," His, December, 1963, p. 26.

To this view every true Christian will agree: God will never force His way into a human life; but Satan, seeing a void mind eagerly begging for a manifestation of the supernatural, will gladly move in and create within him a counterfeit experience, reputedly caused by the Holy Spirit. Would it be presumptuous to think that Satan might direct tempting power to those who are eagerly reaching beyond Christ for a "shortcut" to salvation?

To what extent a number of tongues speakers will go to make themselves available to the influx of their "Holy Spirit" is quoted by Samarin: "Keeping one’s hands lifted seems to be (or to have been) one of the traditional Pentecostal practices. Several of my respondents refer to instructions about how one was to hold his mouth and breathe."—Samarin, op. cit., p. 54.

J.E. Styles may have been the propagator of this form of inducement. He writes: "Recently I have discovered, through observation of a number of people, that those people who will open their mouths up wide will break forth speaking with tongues more clearly and easily than those who do not. Opening the mouth and breathing in constitutes a step of faith that God will honor."

Others claim still different experiences while pleading for the Spirit. It has been reported that Cho Yonggi, a converted Buddhist and presently a minister in Seoul, Korea, tells the following story in connection with his prayer for Divine intervention: "I saw the Lord … and I said to Him, ‘Yes, Jesus, I will preach your gospel.’ I tried to touch His feet. As soon as I touched His clothes, what seemed to be a thousand volts of electricity flowed into me and I began to shake. Then strange words came to my mouth and I began to speak in other tongues." Quoted by Gromacki, op. cit., p. 40.

At this point more examples of the unusual behavior and phenomena associated with many of the tongues advocates and speakers can be furnished; their often exorbitant claims are simply too overwhelming. It may, however, be more appropriate to compare today’s desperate attempts with the original Pentecostal experience and see where or if the two harmonize.

So, what are the facts?

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